The Health Reform Legislative Task
force today recommended that the state implement "Arkansas Works," the governor's plan to continue the private option Medicaid expansion with conservative tweaks.
The policy will still need approval from the full legislature — a simple majority at a special session in April and a 75-percent supermajority in the fiscal session to follow.
Three Democrats — Sens. Linda Chesterfield
and Keith Ingram
and Rep. Deborah Ferguson
— abstained. This appears to be a protest over the potential discussion of managed care for the traditional Medicaid program. Rep. Michelle Gray
also abstained. Gray, a Republican, is also an opponent of managed care. She has professional and family connections to medical providers: she works for her husband's family practice clinic and her husband is a medical director for multiple nursing homes.
Rep. David Meeks
and Sen. Cecile Bledsoe
voted no, suggesting that they may be No votes in April when the legislature convenes.
The other ten members of the task force voted Aye.
Support for special health care reporting made possible by the Arkansas Public Policy Panel.